"Granddad Bandit" intends to plead guilty
The so-called "Granddad Bandit," suspected of calmly robbing banks in 14 states has said in court papers that he intends to plead guilty to robberies in Alabama and Arkansas.
Michael F. Mara, 52, was arrested in August and charged in U.S. District Court in Richmond. FBI agents and local authorities were led to Mara after they flashed security camera images of the robber -- a middle-aged balding man who wore no disguise -- on nearly 2,000 billboards in more than 40 states.
In court papers, Mara asked to have charges that have been filed against him in Alabama and Arkansas transferred to Virginia's federal court and said he would plead guilty to three bank robberies in those states.
The Granddad Bandit is suspected of robbing 26 banks in 14 states from Florida to Texas, authorities said. The string of robberies began at a Richmond bank in December 2008 and ended in August in North Carolina.
Mara's trial on the Virginia charges is scheduled for Jan. 13.